Study underway to determine what role voter ID law played in low voter turnout on November 8th

MILWAUKEE -- A study is underway to determine what role Wisconsin's new voter ID law played in voter turnout during the election on November 8th.

According to a statement from the City of Milwaukee, the study is being conducted by UW-Madison -- "to determine if Wisconsin's new voter ID law played a role in the lowest statewide turnout for a presidential election in over two decades."

The statement indicates this study will review the impact of the voter ID law, and will focus on Dane and Milwaukee counties, which have the highest percentage of minority and low-income voters in the state.

About 66 percent of voting age people in Wisconsin cast ballots on November 8th -- down nearly four percentage points compared to 2012 and three points behind the predictions from state election officials.

Most counties in Wisconsin saw a decline in turnout, but the drop was particularly dramatic in Milwaukee County, where nearly 50,000 fewer votes were cast this year compared to 2012 -- according to the statement.

Preliminary exit polling showed that turnout fell off most among young voters and African-Americans.

In Dane County, turnout was up slightly in real numbers, but down roughly 2 percent from four years ago among registered voters.

“Overall there were few problems on election day,” said Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki in the statement. “However, there were reports of voters who showed up to the polls with the wrong form of photo ID, while others simply did not go to the polls because they feared they did not have proper ID.  This study will move us from anecdotes to facts.”

Kenneth Mayer, a UW-Madison political science professor is leading the study.

The UW hopes to have an initial report ready by August 2017.